Faculty and Staff


music david abbott 100Dr. David Abbott
Professor - Piano, Music History

Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0483


music maureen balke 100Dr. Maureen Balke
Department Chair

Professor - Voice, Diction, Intro to Opera, Honors, FYS
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0471


jim ball 100x123

Dr. James Ball
Professor - Director of Orchestral & Jazz Activities, Conducting, Evolution of Jazz, Jazz Improvisation

Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0256



Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott
Assistant Professor - Piano, Keyboard Skills, Music Theory

Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0698


music samuel mcilhagga 100

Dr. Samuel McIlhagga
Professor - Director of Bands, Instrumental Music Education, Rock and Roll in Society, Honors

Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0467


Dr. Clayton Parrclayton parr 240x300 1
Professor - Director of Choral Activities, Choral Conducting, Choral Music Education

Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0251



Tiffany PaulsonTiffany Paulson
Department Secretary
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0481



Dr. Matthew Hansen
Department Manager
Office: Goodrich Chapel
Phone: 517-629-0280


Applied Music Faculty


Dr. David Abbott
Professor - Piano
D.M.A., Eastman School of Music;
M.M. the Juilliard School;
B.M., Eastman School of Music

Dr. Lia Jensen-Abbott
Visiting Assistant Professor - Piano
D.M.A. (piano performance) University of Nebraska-Lincoln;
Performer Diploma from Indiana University;
M.M.and M.A. in (piano and music theory) Pennsylvania State University;
B.M. (piano performance) University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Nicholas Laban
Staff Accompanist
M.M., 2013, Western Michigan University
B.A., 2011, Albion College

Elena Solero
M.M., 1984, Bowling Green State University;
B.M., 1982, DePauw University

Jackie Livesay
Applied Instructor - Organ
M.A. in Education, Spring Arbor University;
M.M., University of Michigan;
B.M., Westminster Choir College

Dan Willenberg
Applied Instructor - Jazz Piano
M.A. in Piano Performance, Western Michigan University
B.A. Instrumental Music Education, Applied Piano, Albion College


Dr. Takeshi Abo
Applied Instructor - Violin, Viola, String Techniques
D.M.A. (violin performance), 2006, Michigan State University;
M.M. (violin performance), 1997, Michigan State University;
B.M. (violin performance), 1994, Kyoto City University of Arts

Dr. Daniel Tressel
Applied Instructor - Cello
D.M.A.- Music Composition, Michigan State University
M.M., Orchestral Career Studies, The University of Nevada, Reno
B.M.,Cello Performance, The University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Mark Mathias
Applied Instructor - Double Bass
M.F.A, Eastern Michigan University
B.M., The University of Michigan

Ellen Grafius
Applied Instructor - Harp
B.M.E., 1970, Michigan State University

Daniel Palmer
Applied Instructor - Guitar, Guitar Ensemble
M.M., 2013, University of Toledo;
B.A. in Music Performance, 2011, Albion College

Winds and Percussion

Dr. James Ball
Professor - Trombone, Tuba
D.M.A. (orchestral conducting), 1992, Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri - Kansas City;
M.M. (orchestral conducting), 1983, Northwestern University;
M.M. (trombone), 1982, Georgia State University;
B.M., 1974, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Cynthia Duda
Applied Instructor - Bassoon
D.M.A., Bassoon Performance, Michigan State University
M.M., Music History/Literature, The University of Akron
M.M., Bassoon Performance, Western Michigan University
B.M.E., Music Education, Bowling Green State University

Dr. Matthew Kay
Applied Instructor - Trumpet
D.M.A., 2017 Michigan State University
M.M., 2009, Houghton College
Post Graduate Diploma in Music Performance, 2005, University of Salford
Post Graduate Certificate in Education, 1999, University of Leeds
B.M., 1996, University of Huddersfield

Dr. Tess Miller 
Applied Instructor - Flute, Flute Ensemble, Woodwind Teaching and Techniques
D.M.A., flute performance, 2004, Michigan State University;
M.M., flute performance, 2001, Michigan State University;
B.M., flute performance, 1999, Michigan State University

James Otto
Applied Instructor - Horn, Brass Teaching and Techniques
M.M. in Brass Winds Performance, University of Michigan;
B.M. in Music Education, University of Michigan

Gabriel Renteria
Applied Instructor - Oboe, Reed-making Class
D.M.A., 2006, Colburn Conservatory;
M.M., 2006, University of Washington;
B.M., Oberlin Conservatory

Sarah Manasreh
Applied Instructor - Clarinet, Clarinet Ensemble, Saxophone, Woodwind Teaching and Techniques
D.M.A. in progress, Michigan State University
M.M., The Royal Northern College of Music
B.M., Florida State University

Daniel McDonald
Applied Instructor - Percussion, Drum Set, Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Techniques
M.M., Percussion Performance, The University of Michigan
B.M. in Percussion Performance, Central Michigan University


Dr. Maureen Balke
Professor - Voice
D.M., Indiana University, 1991;
B.A., Marquette University, 1974, B.M. 1978, M.M. 1980

Robert Doyle
Applied Iinstructor - Voice
M.M. candidate in organ and church music, University of Michigan;
M.M., 1992, University of Texas, Austin;
B.M., 1985, Michigan State University
Certified at Level 3 in Somatic Voicework(sm) - The LoVetri Method

John King
Applied Instructor - Voice, Opera Workshop
M.M. (performance & pedagogy), 1974, University of Colorado;
B.M.E. (choral & composition), 1972, Central Michigan University
Certified at Level 3 in Somatic Voicework(sm) - The LoVetri Method

Music Education

Dr. Samuel McIlhagga
Secondary Instrumental Music Education
Ph.D. in Music, 2006, University of Minnesota;
M.M. in Instrumental Conducting, 1993, Northwestern University;
B.M.E., 1992, Grand Valley State University

Dr. Clayton Parr
Secondary Choral Music Education
D.M.A. in Choral Conducting, 1990, Michigan State University;
M.M. in Voice Performance, 1989, Michigan State University;
M.M. in Choral Conducting, 1987, Michigan State University;
B.A., 1980, Albion College

Stacey Root
Elementary Music Education
M.A. in Music Education, 2010, Michigan State University
B.A. in Music Education, 2002, Michigan State University